We Kashmiris

“We Kashmiris may look weary, teary, dreary, shaky, noisy or lazy. That is only a superficial perception, which may fool many. Deep down, we are extremely hardy, tenacious, pugnacious and resilient.

Our history is extremely complex. We withstood Alexander’s invasion, as well as repeated invasions of several Mongol chiefs. We survived the rules of alien regimes over more than 600 years – Shahmiris, Pathans, Mughals, Sikhs and Dogras – who invaded, occupied, ruled and disappeared over time. Yet, we did not fade out; we lived and survived as Kashmiris.

We have weathered very difficult times in the past, which have hardened us to our core. There is something in Kashmir and us Kashmiris that will sustain us for many more centuries as ethnic Kashmiris. Over time, most of us have become quite stoic. Our resilience and stoicism will help to survive us for all times to come.

We are excellent hosts and universally known for our warm hospitality. We remember every kind word, every kind gesture and every kind favour we receive. Equally, we never forget the pain and injustices we suffer. Unfortunately, some of us may have given in to the external cultures and surrendered a part of our identity. Thankfully, however, most of us, who hold Kashmir in their heart and wear Kashmir on their sleeves, remain Kashmiris to core. We are Kashmiris after all, we’ll survive.” … Bill K Koul (27 Dec 2019)

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